A career in education comes with a significant upside, as qualified educators will always be needed to guide future generations of students. But what if you aspire to a role outside of the classroom?
If you’re looking to make a significant impact on the industry itself and help change the way students learn, you can start by pursuing your Master of Arts (MA) in Education.
What Is a Master of Arts in Education?
Unlike a master’s degree in teaching, a Master of Arts in Education goes beyond classroom curriculum and offers a holistic understanding of educational theories and practices; training you to be a leader and developing your skills for opportunities at the administrative level. Though an MA in education focuses less on the day-to-day activities in a classroom, you will learn how to transform the educational process as a whole, which will have a trickle-down effect that impacts students and teachers.
What Jobs Can I Get With a Master of Arts in Education?
A master’s degree immediately lets employers know that you are an expert in your field, and your master’s in education will allow you to pursue managerial and leadership roles at the highest levels. Further, if you choose to pursue a specialization – special education, early childhood education, curriculum and instruction, to name a few – you will create even more opportunity for your post-graduate career.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “What can I do with an MA in Education besides teach?,” you’ll be happy to know there are many options. Read on to learn about four in-demand jobs you can pursue with your master’s in education.
1. College Dean
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the agency that analyzes and reports employment data, college dean falls under the category Postsecondary Education Administrator, which includes the role of provost (also known as chief academic officer).
A master’s degree is typically required to reach the level of dean at a college or university, and some roles may even require a doctoral degree. Like any professional role, your degree will complement the related work and life experience you bring to the table. In its analysis, the BLS reports some deans “begin their careers as professors and later move into administration” and “employers typically prefer candidates who have experience working in a postsecondary academic administrative office.”
What Does a College Dean Do?
Educational institutions may have multiple deans to oversee separate departments or programs. The typical duties of a dean include:
- Coordinating the activities of administrative staff, advisors, and faculty
- Developing and maintaining academic policies
- Liaising with outside agencies, including those that evaluate academic success
- Participating in faculty committees
- Playing an active role in planning and evaluating curriculum
What Is the Job Outlook for College Deans With an MA in Education?
Employment for postsecondary education administrators (including deans) is projected to grow 7% – as fast as average – through 2031, according to the BLS, with 17,600 openings projected each year. However, there may be fewer of these top positions available because each institution typically has a set number of deans.
What Is the Salary for a College Dean?
2. Education Administrator
A master’s or doctoral degree is required for the majority of the administrative roles — such as principal or superintendent, athletic director, or special education director — in kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools. In these roles, you will plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities.
What Does an Education Administrator Do?
As an education administrator, you can make a tremendous impact. Typical responsibilities include:
- Evaluating curriculum, teaching methods, and programs to determine their effectiveness, efficiency, and use, and to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations
- Collaborating with teachers to develop and maintain curriculum standards, develop mission statements, and set performance goals and objectives
- Recruiting, hiring, training, and evaluating primary, support, and supplemental staff
- Creating school improvement plans using student performance data
- Planning and leading professional development activities for teachers, administrators, and support staff
What Is the Job Outlook for Education Administrators?
The BLS reports employment of elementary, middle, and high school principals will grow 5% through 2031, with as many as 23,500 new openings projected each year. These roles will require a master’s degree, according to the BLS.
What Is the Salary for an Education Administrator?
While salaries may vary by state or school district, the median wage for an education administrator was $98,420 in 2021, according to O*Net.
3. Educational Consultant
As a consultant, you can use your academic and work experience to offer counsel, training, and specific, actionable recommendations to your clients in the field of education.
What Does an Educational Consultant Do?
Rather than tackling the industry as a whole, as an educational consultant you might offer specific advice in an area that’s relevant to your degree – such as the aforementioned special education, curriculum and instruction, and early childhood education degree specializations.
The typical duties of an educational consultant include:
- Assessing education standards and classroom policies as well as grades and test scores
- Helping implement changes to curriculum based on data
- Surveying students to change programs or curriculum
- Reporting on the effectiveness of current academic systems
- Devising strategies to improve educational quality and help implement new policies
What Areas of Educational Consulting Can I Focus On?
If you want to narrow your focus as an educational consultant, you can specialize in a number of areas, including:
- School and postsecondary institution education
- Government agencies or product-driven firms
- Individual students and families
What Is the Salary for an Educational Consultant?
If you are using your MA in Education to start your own educational consultancy, you will have the flexibility to set your own hours and salary. The BLS doesn’t list the median salary for educational consultants, but a quick search on a job hunting website can show you what companies are paying based on experience and academic credentials.
4. Instructional Coordinator
As an instructional coordinator, you can play a lead role in the research, development, implementation, and evaluation of a school’s curriculum, as well as the way teachers deliver information and instruction to students.
What Does an Instructional Coordinator Do?
- Observing teachers to evaluate performance and recommend changes to help strengthen their teaching skills
- Planning and conducting teacher training programs and conferences on new classroom procedures, instructional materials and equipment, and teaching aids
- Advising teaching and administrative staff in curriculum development, the use of materials and equipment, and the implementation of state and federal programs and procedures
- Recommending, ordering, or authorizing the purchase of instructional materials, supplies, equipment, and visual aids designed to meet student educational needs and district standards
- Updating the content of educational programs to ensure students are being trained with equipment and processes that are technologically current
What Is the Job Outlook for Instructional Coordinators?
Instructional coordinators are in demand, with the BLS projecting employment in the field will grow 7% through 2031, with as many as 20,900 new jobs becoming available each year. A master’s degree is typically required for the position, the agency notes.
What Is the Salary for an Instructional Coordinator?
The median annual wage for an instructional coordinator was $63,470 in 2021, according to BLS.gov.
What Other Jobs Am I Qualified for With My Master of Arts in Education?
If you are not going down the path of teaching,* which requires certification alongside your degree, you can use your MA in education to compete for a number of opportunities outside of the classroom. Among them:
- Program director
- School board member
- Education policy analyst
What Kind of Job Security Will I Have With a Master of Arts in Education?
A master’s degree will give you a competitive advantage in an industry that continues to add jobs due to growth and retirements. Overall employment in education, training, and library occupations is projected to grow by 7% through 2031, according to the BLS, with as many as 929,000 new positions opening up each year.
Further, the agency reports the unemployment rate for master’s degree holders is significantly lower, and weekly earnings are higher than professionals with a bachelor’s degree. Median weekly earnings for those with a master’s degree was $1,574 in 2021, compared to $1,334 for those with a bachelor’s degree, and $963 for those with an associate’s degree.
* An online degree from the University of Arizona Global Campus does not lead to immediate teacher licensure in any state. If you want to become a classroom teacher, contact your state’s education authorities prior to enrolling at the University of Arizona Global Campus to determine what state-specific requirements you must complete before obtaining your teacher’s license.
Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.